Superman is as iconic a character as there is—the superhero is a part of American culture. But how was he really created? Like in real life? He was bought. And this is the check that DC used to create his legend. But why should we care? Well...
Superman was originally created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster back in 1932 but DC managed to buy the rights to the character in 1938 for the low, low price of $130. Even accounting for inflation, that's only a little over 2 grand. $2,000 for one of the most popular characters ever! What a steal, right? And It was sort of a steal as Siegel and Shuster have an ongoing fight for ownership over Superman.
The check from March 1, 1938, which was thought to have been lost long ago, not only marks the start of Superman as a national superhero but also shows the ugly origins of how the comic book industry started in America: a business man exploited the creators of Superman. Jack Liebowitz, the man who signed the check, managed to negotiate the "exclusive right to the use of Superman" and ousted Siegel and Shuster from their baby. Buying all the rights to the character wasn't normal says Comic Beat, for example, Bob Kane, creator of Batman, was allowed to hold onto a piece of the Dark Knight. All Siegel and Shuster got was this check.